It must have been love, but it’s over now

July 30, 2008

Ideas for posts that went nowhere

1. The girl who had never heard of Batman
– It’s funny in my head but not on paper

2. If rappers were forced to get real jobs
– It writes like a bad Mad TV sketch

3. Due to an unexpected fluctuation in time, Oprah now is forced to interview early Oprah
– I couldn’t figure out which one was fatter

4. Dispelling the myth of romantic love.. because I’m a dick
– I mostly like romantic love

5. The high school football star unsuccessfully attempts to impress a 2 year old on the playground
– Perfect button-hook passes don’t do it for an infant

6. Song lyrics that are offensive to God but actually can be spun to be pro-religion
– I really just wanted to write about “Tomorrow Wendy”

7. Ways in which I just don’t get Radiohead
– Apparently in every way possible

8. Spencer Krug
– I figure I spend enough time thinking about him, I don’t have to write about him too

9. McDonalds and Burger King merge, and it’s theoretically funny for some reason, even though they’re virtually the same place.
– There… was not one ounce of comedy behind this

10. A dissection of how the Wiggles write their music
– Greg is a dick

11. Two word search terms on google that have the least amount of hits.
– I really thought this would be funny, but it’s nearly impossible to find two word combinations on google that reveal nearly no hits. I tried:
– Thank Bang (21 million)
– Ostentatious Boom (77 thousand)
– Homeless Shitsack (115)
– Chocolate headphones (2.6 million)
– Funky Sexlog (9 thousand)

12. Business terms I think I’ve invented.
– The only one I could think of was “Logical Friday”. This is when it’s Thursday but you’re taking Friday off, so you wear jeans to work anyway because it’s a Logical Friday

13. There’s nothing funny about cancer
– Nope. There really isn’t.

14. What the fuck is with band names lately? Why are they all sentences?
– You get the gist. What ever happened to the Eagles? Now it’s all “You say Party! We say Die!” and “Clap your hands say yeah” and so on

15. Dissecting the lyrics to All Fires by Swan Lake.
– Only interesting to one person, and we’ve already spent like 6 hours doing this

16. Posting ideas for blog posts hoping that the sum is greater than the individual parts
– Apparently not

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My night is colored headache grey

July 16, 2008

Terms used by business people that are totally incorrect

Quantum Leap
What they think it means:
It’s used to describe a large progression, typically with an undertone of time, as in – “This move to Internet banking is a quantum leap forward for the way we communicate with clients”

What it really means
A quantum leap is defined as being an abrupt change, where energy moves from one atom to another instantaneously. It is a change that happens all at once (revolutionary) as opposed to gradually over time (evolutionary). Either way, it certainly isn’t a large change, and in fact can be rather insignificant from a time / space perspective

How it should really be used:
Steve: Hmm… Every piece of wiring melting simultaneously within our new Internet Banking system certainly was an unexpected quantum leap.

Ping
What they think it means
Talk to. As in – “I’ll try to ping you later on today.”

What it really means
It is a computer network tool to determine whether a particular host is reachable across an IP network. It can also refer to the amount of time the ping program runs. It has nothing to do with having a conversation, in that all a ping does is determine if the host is reachable. It doesn’t stop to chat with the host, and it certainly doesn’t return any information. It just connects.

How it should really be used:
Steve: Mike, Ping Dave and find out if he knows why all our Internet Banking wiring inexplicably melted.
Mike: You got it. <calls Dave>
Dave: Hello?
Mike: <Hanging up> That took 1.4 seconds.

Boil the Ocean
What they think it means
It’s a description of an end state that is too big for one particular person or group of people to tackle all at once, so it’s recognition of a phased approach as in – “We can’t rewire the entire goddamn Internet Banking infrastructure overnight, we don’t want to boil the ocean here. Let’s just see if we can get New York back up to start”

What it really means
An impossibility. You can’t boil the ocean. Ever. It’s describing an event that could under no possible circumstances ever happen.

How it should really be used:
Steve: <to room> Listen folks, I get that we’re getting a lot of fire from the VP’s for this melting issue, but I don’t think moving to the Moon is realistic. It’s like boiling the ocean.

Take that Offline
What they think it means
It will happen later on, or it will be addressed outside of the current forum. As in “Okay, I get that somehow magic could have been involved in this thing, but let’s take that offline for now”

What it really means
To disconnect a piece of machinery (computer, telephone, etc) from the infrastructure it uses to communicate with other pieces of equipment. Once something is offline, it’s still functional, but it can’t really communicate with other things. The fact that something is offline certainly doesn’t mean it will do something later.

How it should be really used:
Steve: <on the phone> I told you, I don’t fucking know how or why our wiring all melted! <hangs up, breaks phone>. Fuck this, I’m taking myself offline <drinks>

Net-Net
What they think it means
The summary of an event, communicated verbally or otherwise as in “I don’t need to know the specifics of the profanities the VP’s were saying, just give me the net-net”. Recently further bastardized to mean “outcome” as in “What is the net-net of this internet fuckup?”

What it actually means
No clue. “Net” is a financial term which is an antonym of gross or total. So this is like saying “what is the total” or “what is the gross”. Except it’s not, it’s now like saying “what is the total-total” which makes absolutely no sense in any context.

How it should really be used
It shouldn’t. Also, Steve eventually fixed the Internet problem by going after the low-hanging fruit. It was a win-win value proposition that upped his market share and gave him good face time with the CEO’s.


Canada vs. US

July 9, 2008

Part of an ongoing series where I explore the difference between American and Canadian bands that are basically the same. From this I will determine which country is better.

Weakerthans vs. Death Cab for Cutie:

Wikipedia says:
The Weakerthans are an award-winning four-piece (and sometimes six-piece) Canadian indie rock band that blends punk-inflected folk rock with literate, introspective lyrics.

Death Cab for Cutie (or Death Cab) is an American indie pop rock band formed in Bellingham, Washington in 1997. The band takes its name from a satirical song of the same name.

I say:
The entire basis of these comparisons are on bands who kind of sound alike, so I’m not going to belabor that point for every one. Having said that, man, do the Weakerthans ever sound a lot like Death Cab for Cutie. The critical difference between them is that the Weakerthans remembered that part of being a successful band is writing decent songs – a goal which up until recently has escaped Ben Gibbard and Death Cab. I see this scenario:

<Death Cab’s agent is chain smoking in his office. He is STRESSED>
<Phone rings>
Agent: What.
Ben: <excited> Did you see the reviews for Translatlanticism??
Agent: Yes. Critics love Death Cab. Death Cab for Cutie is Death Cab for Awesome. Spin says “Gibbard is grib-great!”.
Ben: You don’t sound excited.
Agent: You’re fucking topping 97 on the billboard chart, you ignorant ape! You suck!
Ben: But.. but the critics called us “a sublime transcendent melody that rapes and soothes your soul”
Agent: Right, right the transcendent raping. Yeah, I’ll stick that right on the press notes. Your songs are fucking terrible Ben. They’re total trash. The only reason critics like them is because they’re fucking critics. Normal people don’t like your music.
Ben: Hmm. I hear you.. but –
Agent: No buts. Listen you dumb fucktard. Instead of putting shitty music to your haunting, introspectively moody lyrics, have you ever just considered.. oh, I don’t know.. just writing a decent fucking song?
Ben: Hmmm.

<Writes “Plans”, cd tops at #4>

So here you see my basic problem with Death Cab which is that their first 5 CDs are pretty much terrible, Plans is balls out awesome, and Narrow Stairs is average. What the hell do I do with that? Do I like them? Do I hate them? Up until Narrow Stairs I would have said they’re showing constant improvement, but… Meh.

On the Canadian side of the boarder you have the Weakerthans whom I just recently starting listening to. All I can think of in every song is “Oh, so this is what Death Cab would sound like if they weren’t horrible. Neat”.

If this entire rant seems like a thinly veiled attempt to rag on Ben Gibbard and Death Cab for Cutie, you’re right. Now let’s get to the judging. Each time, this will be based on random categories that I make up as I go along, with an equally arbitrary scoring system. The important thing to realize is regardless of how capricious my ratings seem, they are inherently correct.

Scoring Categories

Number of CDs:
Death Cab: 7
Weakerthans: 5
Winner: Death Cab for Cutie

Coolness of band name:
Weakerthans – Very cool, because weaker than what? You’re always left wondering.
Death Cab for Cutie – No one cares how fucking obscure your knowledge of 50’s music by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band is.
Winner: The Weakerthans

Number of times Mozilla frustratingly crashed while trying to research the bands:
Weakerthans: 0
Death Cab for Cutie: 10. Fucking Mozilla.

Song Playing while I wrote this
Weakerthans: Bang your drum by Wolf Parade
Death Cab for Cutie: Bros by Panda Bear
Winner: Death Cab although I’m disgusted by the result

Overall Winner: Weakerthans! Sorry Death Cab, you can keep your melancholy, darkly introverted lyrics. Up here in Canada (where we value honesty, just like Comptroller Atkins taught us) we’ll stick with the Weakerthans.